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Cablegate: New Zealand Response to Request for Host

VZCZCXRO1215
RR RUEHAP RUEHNZ
DE RUEHWL #0401 3330348
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280348Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5560
INFO RUEHAP/AMEMBASSY APIA 0518
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 5338
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0778
RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 1804

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000401

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG PINR NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR HOST
GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING CLIMATE
CHANGE

REF: A. SECSTATE 116939
B. WELLINGTON 297

1. (SBU) Summary: During the past five years, as the GNZ
has ramped up its involvement in Global Climate Change (GCC)
issues under the leadership of Helen Clark, there have been
no significant structural changes within the government.
Instead, the GNZ has absorbed GCC responsibilites within the
existing governmental framework, albeit with the addition of
approximately 70 additional staffers in various ministries.
To date, the existing Climate Change Ambassador, Adrian
Macey, has not changed with election of the new government
under John Key. However, Key recently named Dr. Nick Smith
as both the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for
Climate Change. End summary.

No Structural Changes in Government from GCC Efforts
--------------------------------------------- -------

2. (U) In response to action request (Ref A), no significant
organizational changes have occurred within the GNZ during
the last 12-18 months as the government works to address
global climate change (GCC). In September 2008, the New
Zealand parliament adopted a comprehensive and ambitious cap
and trade program to reduce the country's greenhouse gas
emissions (the Emissions Trading Scheme or "ETS" - see Ref
B). However, that initiative did not result in any
significant organizational changes within government. The
GNZ uses a cross sector, "whole-of-government" approach to
deal with GCC issues, with responsibilities being split among
several ministries:

- ETS: Ministry for the Environment (MfE)(sic)
- Emissions registry (for ETS): Ministry of Economic
Development (MED)
- Energy strategy: MED
- Energy efficiency and conservation strategy: Energy
Efficiency and Conservation Authority
- Sustainable land management and climate change strategy:
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
- Transport strategy: Ministry of Transport (MOT)
- Waste strategy: MfE
- GCC adaptation, public awareness and education: MfE

Though There is a New GCC Czar...
---------------------------------

3. (U) As a result of previous climate change policies
adopted in 2002 and 2005, the GNZ had already appointed a
Minister for Climate Change (within MfE) and a Climate Change
Ambassador (within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Trade). The new Minister for Climate Change, appointed in
November by PM John Key, is Dr. Nick Smith, who also holds
the position of Minister for the Environment. The existing
Climate Change Ambassador is Adrian Macey, and there has been
no indication from the Key government to date that Macey will
be replaced.

And 70-plus GCC-related Personnel
---------------------------------

4. (SBU) Over the last five years, as the GNZ gradually
ramped up its involvement in GCC issues under the Helen Clark
regime, staffing for those efforts increased significantly.
According to Phil Guernsey, who serves as the environmental
staffer for Minister Smith, GCC-related positions within the
GNZ have increased during that period by approximately 70
positions: MfE has added approximately 30 personnel; MAF has
added another 30 or so; MED, approximately 10; and MOT and
Ministry of Treasury, one or two each. These positions
represent a sizable addition to the GNZ budget and as a
result, according to Guernsey, the Key government is closely
scrutinizing the budget impact of that personnel growth (as
well as non-GCC-related personnel expansion throughout
government over the last several years).

Bio Note on Dr. Nick Smith
--------------------------

5. (U) Bio note: Dr. Nick Smith, age 43, is the
second-youngest member of the National Party's front bench.
His portfolio includes environment, climate change, and the
ACC (the GNZ-owned health and disability insuror). He has a
PhD in civil engineering and entered parliament at the age of
24. End note.
McCORMICK

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